This Sunday, 11/20, at 11:20 a.m., owner Loїc Barnieu and head brewer Brian McConnell will celebrate Sterling Pig Brewery 1 year anniversary with a party and bottle release of Big Gunz, their “dangerously drinkable” double IPA. Guests are asked to line up at the garage door in the back of their brewery in Media, PA to purchase this very limited bottled by hand version of Big Gunz, available in collectible 22 oz. “bombers” for $12. Only 600 bottles will be made available (limit of three per person, while supplies last.)
“We cannot wait to share our biggest and boldest beer with everyone,” says Barnieu. “Sterling Pig has been a labor of love from day one, and Big Gunz is our love note to the beer community. Brian and I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Accomplished chef and restaurateur Loïc Barnieu, partnered with head brewer Brian McConnell to found Sterling Pig in July 2015. The brewery and restaurant has quickly earned a reputation for boldly flavored, playfully-named beers that are both a perfect pairing with their menu of wood-fired pizza and smoky barbecue and infinitely drinkable in their own right.
Sterling Pig has quickly earned heavy praise and recognition as one of the most exciting new start-ups in the Philadelphia area’s rich craft brewing scene. The brand’s playful messaging belies their serious mission: creating drinkable, balanced beers that represent the best of small-batch ales and lagers.
In addition to the special bottled release of Big Gunz their double IPA brewed with Horizon, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe and Citra hops, they have had much popularity with The Snuffler, their easy drinking flagship IPA, with hoppy notes of citrus and tropical fruit, and the increasingly popular This Little Piggy series of experimental IPAs which rely on a single hop varietal, allowing McConnell the freedom to showcase different hop profiles, and bring out their most interesting flavors and aromas. Keep an eye out for the Piggy Stardust tripel style beer coming soon. Sterling Pig offers 8 house rotating drafts and seasonal releases on site.
Stop by the brewery where 2 flights will get you a tasting of each seasonal release on draft, or if you’re in Philadelphia, PA you can find Sterling Pig beer on draft at Johnny Brenda’s, Guppy’s Good Times, Pitcher’s Pub, Race Street Cafe, Ten Stone, Martha, Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Bierstube, McMenamins, N. 3rd, Memphis Tap Room, Strangelove’s, Varga Bar, For Pete’s Sake, Bar Abbaye, Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloon and Paddy’s Pub. Future plans include a canning line and greater distribution, though Barnieu and McConnell remain absolutely committed to the small-batch quality of their beers.
In addition to the beer, their brewery is serving up a reliably delicious menu of down-home southern barbecue and wood-fired pizzas, including: The Pera, with caramelized onions, fig sauce, pear and mozzarella; The Hawaiian, with BBQ pork, pineapple, red onions and sweet peach sauce; and The Crudo, with prosciutto, mozzarella and pecorino-romano. Sterling Pig’s shareable BBQ Combination Platters, featuring house-smoked pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs, pulled chicken and smoked sausage will also be served all day inside the taproom. Guests are encouraged to ask their server for food and beer pairings. Growlers are available at the bar.
We loved pairing the beer flight with our meal. The Crudo wood fired pizza had a thin and crispy crust, while the homemade Sausage Sampler showcased chorizo, bison, and turkey sausages with whole grain mustard. But our favorite had to be the BBQ Combination Platter. Wood smoked by their own chef who grew up in the south, the Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, and Ribs we tried were phenomenal with all right balanced flavors of sweet and smokey. They’ve even got 2 homemade sauces featuring a traditional barbecue and Carolina style mustard-vinegar. The cornbread, baked beans, and pickle were the perfect addition to our heaping plate.
Owning a brewery wasn’t always the first career path chosen by Barnieu who arrived in Media, PA from Burgundy, France. He grew up cooking under both his grandfathers, one who was a bakery owner and the other a chef. When he wasn’t busy practicing the trade, he pursued his other passion of acting. Shortly after high school, he moved to Paris, enrolled in theatre school, and worked for a French television network while he appeared in numerous plays. Once in the United States, Barnieu quickly picked up the language and became involved in the Philadelphia theatre scene. Today Barnieu is also the chef-owner of La Belle Époque Wine Bistro and Diego’s Cantina and Tequila Bar, both in Media, PA.
His restaurants have received numerous accolades throughout the years, including Best Restaurant and Best French Restaurant from Main Line Today (La Belle Époque). The publication deemed Sterling Pig Brewery “beacon of barbeque in Media.” in summer 2015. McConnell is an award-winning brewer whose work at John Harvard’s Brew House and Rock Bottom Brewery earned him multiple medals from the Great American Beer Festival and Real Ale Festival.
If you don’t believe us, then you should taste it all for yourself. Stop by the brewery bar or dining room (even outdoor seating for the warmer months), open 7 days a week from 11:30 am- 1:30 am. Large flat-screen televisions make this an ideal spot for watching your favorite sports. And if you’re looking for a unique event space, Sterling Pig Brewery also has a loft overlooking their brewery which can accommodate up to 70 people.